News

Accused killer nurse 'knew alleged victims complained'

ACCUSED OF MURDER: Former nurse Megan Jean Haines is accused of murdering two residents at a Ballina nursing home. Photo contributed
ACCUSED OF MURDER: Former nurse Megan Jean Haines is accused of murdering two residents at a Ballina nursing home. Photo contributed

A NURSING home director has testified she told accused murderer Megan Jean Haines three nursing home residents had made complaints against her before two of them died.

St Andrew's aged care centre director of care Wendy Turner told Sydney Supreme Court she had handed Ms Haines documents the previous night outlining two complaints against her, and had told her the names of the residents who had filed them.

The court heard four phone call recordings made the morning Marie Darragh and Isabella Spencer died in their beds in May 2014.

Ms Haines was calling Ms Turner to arrange a meeting to discuss the complaints.

"Is it normal to have so many complaints or is it just me?" Haines asked on one recording.

"I really don't know what I'm doing wrong.

"Because if someone could tell me what I'm doing wrong - speaking too much, or am I staying in the room too much, am I too rough?

"I'm not very strong, I'm only little."

Ms Turner gave evidence she told Ms Haines one of the complainants was Ms Darragh when she handed the documents over.

She said she mentioned another pending complaint but did not tell Ms Haines the resident's name.

That complaint was from Ms Spencer.

"I said, well that's why we need to meet on Tuesday so you can give your version of events," Ms Turner had said.

"I also cautioned Megan and said to her that it was very important that she not raise these matters directly with any of the complainants.

"That she should not approach them, and that if she should need to attend to them at any time of the night that she should take care staff with her."

Experts found Ms Spencer and Ms Darragh overdosed on insulin that night.

Ms Turner described her observations of both women in the moments before they died.

She said Ms Darragh was unconscious and "blueish in colour", indicating she was short of oxygen.

"Her respiratory rate was very shallow and laboured and I considered her to be very near death," she said.

Ms Turner said Ms Spencer appeared to be in a similar condition and she thought death was imminent.

The jury heard Haines made the phone calls that same day, but was not told the two women had died.

A meeting between Ms Turner and Haines went ahead at 2pm and was "conducted as if they were still alive", the court heard.

Ms Darragh's grand-daughter Shannon Ann Parkinson also gave evidence.

She said she read aloud an early mother's day card from another relative and heard Ms Darragh make a noise just moments before she died in her arms.

Ms Darragh's daughter Jan Parkinson told the court she had visited the nursing home the previous day and had watched her mother sing at a concert with other residents.

She intended to return the following day to cook her pancakes and celebrate an early Mother's Day.

The case is expected to continue for up to eight weeks.

- ARM NEWSDESK

Topics:  ballina ballina nursing home murders court insulin isabella spencer marie darragh megan haines megan jean haines murder st andrew's wendy turner


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Rainbow club shines at Gold Coast regatta

Rainbow Region Dragon Boat Club at the Gold Coast's Broadwater regatta.

Teams battled it out in blistering heat

FORECAST: Perfect storm for a lazy weekend

Rain is on the way on the Northern Rivers.

Much needed heat relief expected to continue

Regional fathers needed to fight against male suicide rates

Regional fathers are needed in the fight against male suicide rates.

If you're a father aged 28-32 take part in this widespread survey

Local Partners

Tower built, now the recruits are coming

SINCE the opening of the new Marine Rescue tower in Ballina in October last year, the volunteer organisation has had at least a dozen new recruits.

BIG RIDE: Matt to bring out smiles for Smiddy

LONG WAY ROUND: Matt Muir raises his bike in triumph on his ride last year.

Fundraiser at Yamba Shores Tavern ahead of 800km charity ride

Buddhism pioneer shares life's mission

Lama Ole Nydahl will be presenting a new documentary in Ballina.

About the first ever Western students of Buddhism in Nepal

Mr Grey is back, just fifty shades darker

SCREENING: Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan in a scene from the first trailer for the movie Fifty Shades Darker.

Advance screenings next week

Nadia visits Coast to escape Married At First Sight drama

MARRIED At First Sight contestant Nadia Stamp escaped to the Coast for a girl's weekend to take stock ahead of week of drama.

‘I didn’t stuff it up like you have’: Plibersek on Q&A

“I didn’t stuff it up the way you have stuffed it up, George”: Tanya Plibersek.

Plibersek lashed out at Brandis to plenty of applause

MKR cheating scandal: Alyse and Matt hit back

Matt Jenner shows his MKR rivals the curry paste he and Alyse used.

Alyse and Matt Jenner have hit back at claims they cheated on MKR

MKR rocked by satay sauce cheating scandal

Alyse and Matt slammed for satay sauce fiasco.

'Nasty' Married At First Sight groom ripped apart on TV

Anthony gets torn down during the Married At First Sight commitment ceremony.

MAFS groom Anthony faces the music after fiery dinner party.

MOVIE REVIEW: Matt Damon's The Great Wall gets lost

Matt Damon fails in a scene from the movie The Great Wall.

Did The Great Wall get lost in translation?

Paul Murray listens to regions

Paul Murray is taking his Sky News show on the road to shine a spotlight on regional Australia.

Radio broadcaster wants viewers to 'turn up and fire up'

Popular island resort sells to loaded international investor

OUR PICK: Chris Foey's colourful shot of one of Gladstone's great tourism hot spots, Heron Island.

International investor snaps up piece of Gladstone paradise.

Potential home buyers punished for doing the 'right thing'

Should I go to university or buy a house?

50 more high rise buildings planned for Brisbane CBD

Height limits have been scrapped for Brisbane CBD

800,000 more people expected to work in city over next 20 years

Clarence River island paradise selling for $5M

Former Ballina councillor Margaret Howes is selling her island getaway.

GALLERY: Tropical getaway with beaches and airstrip put on market.

What $11.9m can get you on Coast's most exclusive street

29-31 Wyuna Drive Noosaville Qld 4566

This is what a cool $11.9m can get you

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!